Understanding Cholesterol Treatments

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: As a diabetic, what cholesterol treatments will I need?

Jonathan Sackner Bernstein, MD
A standard recommendation by both diabetes societies and cardiology societies is that diabetics are going to have recommended therapy with a statin, the cholesterol drug to reduce bad cholesterol at a much earlier stage and even with much lower levels to start with of the bad cholesterol than would a non diabetic. The reason that's a standard recommendation is there was a huge study with 20,000 patients, randomized half and half, to Zocor, one of the statins, or placebo, and after about 4 or 5 years, what they found was that the diabetics who got the statin, even though at that point, they didn't meet the guidelines recommendations for needing it, those diabetics were at significantly lower risk of a heart attack, stroke or dying at the end of that period. So statins can change your life if you're a diabetic by reducing your risk of one of these events, which means that that life altering or life ending experience is just less likely to happen.